Sneak-Peek-Sunday: Test Track

Go ahead, ask my mom what her favorite attraction is at any Disney Park and she will tell you Test Track. Something about cars fascinates her, but not just her, millions of Americans, so when Disney opened Test Track at the end of the 1990s, it was a big deal. It was not only Epcot’s first major E-ticket attraction, but it was unique in that the car could stop, move, speed up, slow down, etc…depending on what the story called for.

Telling my mother that Test Track was closing for a long period for a face lift was somewhat heartbreaking for her, but she was happy she wasn’t planning a vacation this summer. I showed her some of the great ideas coming back into the attraction and she loved them. With Radiator Springs Racers in Disney’s California Adventure opening this summer as a similar attraction, you can see whats being added to enhance an already exciting attraction.

First, just as you would see it, Test Track will get a brand new queue line. No longer will there be the crash test dummy theme for these cars. Instead, guests will be able to see different parts of the car and how they can work before “customizing” your ride experience by choosing what kinds of parts will go into your car.(Thanks to Chevrolet of course.)  It is currently unclear as to what customizing your car is detailed in and how the queue will flow with this process, but if this allows a better educational experience as well as a better ride experience, I am all for it.

As you hop into your previous test track car, now called “SimCar”, you will get to see how your customized vehicle does through the former tests that Test Track has always had. You will see how good your brakes are, what its like on rough terrain, and see what kind of speed you can hit out on the track. Of course, I would assume all of this is done through different sounds and movements of the car. Much like Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland or Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, each vehicle can be changed, but this attraction lets the guests customize that. I’m sure we will also see video pop ups of successful runs and failed runs. Think of what was once part of the attraction with someone narrating over the attraction through your car speakers and video screens throughout the course, but these will change depending on what you’ve specifically done to your car.

In the post show area of the new Test Track will be more of a Chevrolet showroom, showing off some classic cars as well as some futuristic, one of a kind, custom vehicles. You’ll be able to take pictures, use workstations to send emails, and make car commercial videos in this area. It will be a slick looking new showroom for a modern time, allowing guests to continue the experience or to just walk on through and continue on to the next attraction or take a stroll over to Mexico for margaritas, just don’t drink and drive. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the lame joke.)

So is this refurbishment worth the wait? The answer I think is yes and no. I say no, because they are closing one of their top attractions during the middle of the summer and it won’t return until November. This means guests visiting Epcot can expect longer lines at Soarin and Mission: Space. However, I say yes because Test Track, although still fully functional, was seeing lots of wear and tear. The vehicles, at the least, needed new paint jobs, and the course currently looks rather cheesey compared to what we see at other newer attractions. Adding a face lift, and some cool interactive features should bring lots of crowds back to this attraction and free up some queue space at some of the other major attractions in Future World, we just have to bear and grin it for this summer.

What are your thoughts on the new Test Track concept? Do you like the ideas? Do you prefer the old attraction? Could they have waited to do this refurbishment? Let me know your thoughts and until next time….keep driving!

Josh Taylor
Follow me on Twitter: @kidredo


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Posted on June 18, 2012, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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